President goodluck Jonathan has replied former President Olusegun Obasanjo letter. This letter contains answers to issues raised by Obasanjo.
His Excellency,
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR
Agbe L’Oba House, Quarry
Ibara, Abeokuta.

RE: Before It Is Too Late
I wish to formally acknowledge
your letter dated December 2,
2013 and other previous
correspondence similar to it.

You will recall that all the
letters were brought to me by
hand. Although both of us
discussed some of the issues in
those letters, I had not, before
now, seen the need for any
formal reply since, to me, they
contained advice from a former
President to a serving
President. Obviously, you felt
differently because in your last
letter, you complained about
my not acknowledging or
replying your previous letters.
It is with the greatest possible
reluctance that I now write this
reply. I am most uneasy about
embarking on this
unprecedented and
unconventional form of open
communication between me
and a former leader of our
country because I know that
there are more acceptable and
dignified means of doing so.
But I feel obliged to reply your
letter for a number of reasons:
  one, you formally requested
for a reply and not sending
you one will be interpreted as
ignoring a former President.
  Secondly, Nigerians know the
role you have played in my
political life and given the
unfortunate tone of your letter,
clearly, the grapes have gone
sour. Therefore, my side of the
story also needs to be told.
The third reason why I must
reply you in writing is that
your letter is clearly a threat to
national security as it may
deliberately or inadvertently
set the stage for subversion.
The fourth reason for this
reply is that you raised very
weighty issues, and since the
letter has been made public,
Nigerians are expressing
legitimate concerns. A response
from me therefore, becomes
very necessary.
The fifth reason is that this
letter may appear in
biographies and other books
which political commentators
on Nigeria’s contemporary
politics may write. It is only
proper for such publications to
include my comments on the
issues raised in your letter.
Sixthly, you are very unique in
terms of the governance of this
country. You were a military
Head of State for three years
and eight months, and an
elected President for eight
years. That means you have
been the Head of Government
of Nigeria for about twelve
years. This must have,
presumably, exposed you to a
lot of information. Thus when
you make a statement, there is
the tendency for people to take
it seriously.
The seventh reason is that the
timing of your letter coincided
with other vicious releases.
The Speaker of the House of
Representatives spoke of my
“body language ” encouraging
corruption. A letter written to
me by the CBN Governor
alleging that NNPC, within a
period of 19 months did not
remit the sum of USD49.8
billion to the federation
account, was also deliberately
leaked to the public.
The eighth reason is that it
appears that your letter was
designed to incite Nigerians
from other geopolitical zones
against me and also calculated
to promote ethnic disharmony.
Worse still, your letter was
designed to instigate members
of our Party, the PDP, against
The ninth reason is that your
letter conveys to me the feeling
that landmines have been laid
for me. Therefore, Nigerians
need to have my response to
the issues raised before the
mines explode.
The tenth and final reason why
my reply is inevitable is that
you have written similar letters
and made public comments in
reference to all former
Presidents and Heads of
Government starting from
Alhaji Shehu Shagari and these
have instigated different
actions and reactions. The
purpose and direction of your
letter is distinctly ominous, and
before it is too late, my
clarifications on the issues
need to be placed on record.
Let me now comment on the
issues you raised. In
commenting I wish to crave
your indulgence to compare
what is happening now to what
took place before. This, I
believe, will enable Nigerians
see things in better perspective
because we must know where
we are coming from so as to
appreciate where we now are,
and to allow us clearly map out
where we are going.
You raised concerns about the
security situation in the
country. I assure you that I am
fully aware of the
responsibility of government
for ensuring the security of the
lives and property of citizens.
My Administration is working
assiduously to overcome
current national security
challenges, the seeds of which
were sown under previous
administrations. There have
been some setbacks; but
certainly there have also been
great successes in our efforts to
overcome terrorism and
Those who continue to down-
play our successes in this
regard, amongst whom you
must now be numbered,
appear to have conveniently
forgotten the depths to which
security in our country had
plunged before now.
At a stage, almost the entire
North-East of Nigeria was
under siege by insurgents.
Bombings of churches and
public buildings in the North
and the federal capital became
an almost weekly occurrence.
Our entire national security
apparatus seemed nonplussed
and unable to come to grips
with the new threat posed by
the berthing of terrorism on
our shores.
But my administration has
since brought that very
unacceptable situation under
significant control. We have
overhauled our entire national
security architecture, improved
intelligence gathering, training,
funding, logistical support to
our armed forces and security
agencies, and security
collaboration with friendly
countries with very visible and
positive results.
The scope and impact of
terrorist operations have been
significantly reduced and
efforts are underway to restore
full normalcy to the most
affected North Eastern region
and initiate a post-crisis
development agenda, including
a special intervention
programme to boost the
region’s socio-economic
In doing all this, we have kept
our doors open for dialogue
with the insurgents and their
supporters through efforts
such as the work of the
Presidential Committee on
Dialogue and the Peaceful
Resolution of the Security
Challenges in the North-East.
You also know that the
Governor of Borno State
provided the items you
mentioned to me as carrots.
Having done all this and more,
it is interesting that you still
accuse me of not acting on
your hardly original
recommendation that the
carrot and stick option be
deployed to solve the Boko
Haram problem.
Your suggestion that we are
pursuing a “war against
violence without understanding
the root causes of the violence
and applying solutions to deal
with all the underlying factors”
is definitely misplaced because
from the onset of this
administration, we have been
implementing a multifaceted
strategy against militancy,
insurgency and terrorism that
includes poverty alleviation,
economic development,
education and social reforms.
Even though basic education is
the constitutional responsibility
of States, my administration
has, as part of its efforts to
address ignorance and poor
education which have been
identified as two of the factors
responsible for making some of
our youth easily available for
use as cannon fodder by
insurgents and terrorists,
committed huge funds to the
provision of modern basic
education schools for the
Almajiri in several Northern
States. The Federal
Government under my
leadership has also set up nine
additional universities in the
Northern States and three in
the Southern States in keeping
with my belief that proper
education is the surest way of
emancipating and empowering
our people.
More uncharitable persons
may even see a touch of
sanctimoniousness in your new
belief in the carrot and stick
approach to overcoming
militancy and insurgency. You
have always referred to how
you hit Odi in Bayelsa State to
curb militancy in the Niger
Delta. If the invasion of Odi by
the Army was the stick, I did
not see the corresponding
carrot. I was the Deputy
Governor of Bayelsa State then,
and as I have always told you,
the invasion of Odi did not
solve any militancy problem
but, to some extent, escalated
it. If it had solved it, late
President Yar’Adua would not
have had to come up with the
amnesty program. And while
some elements of the problem
may still be there, in general,
the situation is reasonably
In terms of general insecurity
in the country and particularly
the crisis in the Niger Delta,
2007 was one of the worst
periods in our history. You will
recall three incidents that
happened in 2007 which
seemed to have been
orchestrated to achieve sinister
objectives. Here in Abuja, a
petrol tanker loaded with
explosives was to be rammed
into the INEC building. But
luckily for the country, an
electric pole stopped the tanker
from hitting the INEC building.
It is clear that this incident was
meant to exploit the general
sense of insecurity in the
nation at the time to achieve
the aim of stopping the 2007
elections. It is instructive that
you, on a number of occasions,
alluded to this fact.
When that incident failed, an
armed group invaded Yenagoa
one evening with the intent to
assassinate me. Luckily for
me, they could not. They again
attacked and bombed my
country home on a night when
I was expected in the village.
Fortunately, as God would
have it, I did not make the trip.
I recall that immediately after
both incidents, I got calls
expressing the concern of
Abuja. But Baba, you know
that despite the apparent
concern of Abuja, no single
arrest was ever made. I was
then the Governor of Bayelsa
State and the PDP Vice-
Presidential candidate. The
security people ordinarily
should have unraveled the
assassination attempt on me.
You also raised the issues of
kidnapping, piracy and armed
robbery. These are issues all
Nigerians, including me are
very concerned about. While
we will continue to do our
utmost best to reduce all forms
of criminality to the barest
minimum in our country, it is
just as well to remind you that
the first major case of
kidnapping for ransom took
place around 2006. And the
Boko Haram crisis dates back
to 2002. Goodluck Jonathan
was not the President of the
country then. Also, armed
robbery started in this country
immediately after the civil war
and since then, it has been a
problem to all succeeding
governments. For a former
Head of Government, who
should know better, to present
these problems as if they were
creations of the Jonathan
Administration is most
Having said that, let me
remind you of some of the
things we have done to curb
violent crime in the country.
We have reorganized the
Nigerian Police Force and
appointed a more dynamic
leadership to oversee its
affairs. We have also improved
its manpower levels as well as
funding, training and logistical
We have also increased the
surveillance capabilities of the
Police and provided its air-
wing with thrice the number of
helicopters it had before the
inception of the present
administration. The National
Civil Defence and Security
Corps has been armed to make
it a much more effective ally of
the police and other security
agencies in the war against
violent crime. At both domestic
and international levels, we
are doing everything possible
to curb the proliferation of the
small arms and light weapons
with which armed robberies,
kidnappings and piracy are
perpetrated. We have also
enhanced security at our
borders to curb cross-border
We are aggressively
addressing the challenge of
crude oil theft in collaboration
with the state Governors. In
addition, the Federal
Government has engaged the
British and US governments for
their support in the tracking of
the proceeds from the purchase
of stolen crude. Similarly, a
regional Gulf of Guinea
security strategy has been
initiated to curb crude oil theft
and piracy.
Perhaps the most invidious
accusation in your letter is the
allegation that I have placed
over one thousand Nigerians
on a political watch list, and
that I am training snipers and
other militia to assassinate
people. Baba, I don’t know
where you got that from but
you do me grave injustice in
not only lending credence to
such baseless rumours, but
also publicizing it. You
mentioned God seventeen times
in your letter. Can you as a
Christian hold the Bible and
say that you truly believe this
The allegation of training
snipers to assassinate political
opponents is particularly
incomprehensible to me. Since
I started my political career as
a Deputy Governor, I have
never been associated with any
form of political violence. I
have been a President for over
three years now, with a lot of
challenges and opposition
mainly from the high and
mighty. There have certainly
been cases of political
assassination since the advent
of our Fourth Republic, but as
you well know, none of them
occurred under my leadership.
Regarding the over one
thousand people you say are
on a political watch list, I urge
you to kindly tell Nigerians
who they are and what
agencies of government are
“watching” them. Your
allegation that I am using
security operatives to harass
people is also baseless.
Nigerians are waiting for your
evidence of proof. That was an
accusation made against
previous administrations,
including yours, but it is
certainly not my style and will
never be. Again, if you insist
on the spurious claim that
some of your relatives and
friends are being harassed, I
urge you to name them and tell
Nigerians what agencies of my
administration are harassing
I also find it difficult to believe
that you will accuse me of
assisting murderers, or
assigning a presidential
delegation to welcome a
murderer. This is a most
unconscionable and untrue
allegation. It is incumbent on
me to remind you that I am
fully conscious of the dictates
of my responsibilities to God
and our dear nation. It is my
hope that devious elements
will not take advantage of your
baseless allegation to engage in
brazen and wanton
assassination of high profile
politicians as before, hiding
under the alibi your “ open
letter” has provided for them.
Nevertheless, I have directed
the security agencies and
requested the National Human
Rights Commission to carry out
a thorough investigation of
these criminal allegations and
make their findings public.
That corruption is an issue in
Nigeria is indisputable. It has
been with us for many years.
You will recall that your
kinsman, the renowned afro-
beat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-
Kuti famously sang about it
during your first stint as Head
of State. Sonny Okosun also
sang about corruption. And as
you may recall, a number of
Army Generals were to be
retired because of corruption
before the Dimka coup. Also,
the late General Murtala
Mohammed himself wanted to
retire some top people in his
cabinet on corruption-related
issues before he was
assassinated. Even in this
Fourth Republic, the Siemens
and Halliburton scandals are
well known.
The seed of corruption in this
country was planted a long
time ago, but we are doing all
that we can to drastically
reduce its debilitating effects
on national development and
progress. I have been
strengthening the institutions
established to fight corruption.
I will not shield any
government official or private
individual involved in
corruption, but I must follow
due process in all that I do.
And whenever clear cases of
corruption or fraud have been
established, my administration
has always taken prompt
action in keeping with the
dictates of extant laws and
procedures. You cannot claim
to be unaware of the fact that
several highly placed persons
in our country, including sons
of some of our party leaders
are currently facing trial for
their involvement in the
celebrated subsidy scam affair.
I can hardly be blamed if the
wheels of justice still grind
very slowly in our country, but
we are doing our best to
support and encourage the
judiciary to quicken the pace of
adjudication in cases of
Baba, I am amazed that with
all the knowledge garnered
from your many years at the
highest level of governance in
our country, you could still
believe the spurious allegation
contained in a letter written to
me by the Governor of the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),
and surreptitiously obtained
by you, alleging that USD49.8
billion, a sum equal to our
entire national budget for two
years, is “unaccounted for ” by
the NNPC. Since, as President,
you also served for many years
as Minister of Petroleum
Resources, you very well know
the workings of the
corporation. It is therefore
intriguing that you have made
such an assertion. You made a
lot of insinuations about oil
theft, shady dealings at the
NNPC and the NNPC not
remitting the full proceeds of
oil sales to the of CBN. Now
that the main source of the
allegations which you rehashed
has publicly stated that he was
“misconstrued”, perhaps you
will find it in your heart to
apologize for misleading
unwary Nigerians and
impugning the integrity of my
administration on that score.
Your claim of “ Atlantic Oil
loading about 130, 000 barrels
sold by Shell and managed on
behalf of NPDC with no sale
proceeds paid into the NPDC
account ” is also disjointed and
baseless because no such
arrangement as you described
exists between Atlantic Oil and
the Nigeria Petroleum
Development Company. NPDC
currently produces about 138,
000 barrels of oil per day from
over 7 producing assets. The
Crude Oil Marketing Division
(COMD) of the NNPC markets
all of this production on behalf
of NPDC with proceeds paid
into NPDC account.
I am really shocked that with
all avenues open to you as a
former Head of State for the
verification of any information
you have received about state
affairs, you chose to go public
with allegations of “ high
corruption” without offering a
shred of supporting evidence.
One of your political “ sons”
similarly alleged recently that
he told me of a minister who
received a bribe of $250 Million
from an oil company and I did
nothing about it. He may have
been playing from a shared
script, but we have not heard
from him again since he was
challenged to name the
minister involved and provide
the evidence to back his
claim. I urge you, in the same
vein, to furnish me with the
names, facts and figures of a
single verifiable case of the
“high corruption” which you
say stinks all around my
administration and see
whether the corrective action
you advocate does not follow
promptly. And while you are at
it, you may also wish to tell
Nigerians the true story of
questionable waivers of
signature bonuses between
2000 and 2007.
While, by the Grace of God
Almighty, I am the first
President from a minority
group, I am never unmindful of
the fact that I was elected
leader of the whole of Nigeria
and I have always acted in the
best interest of all Nigerians.
You referred to the divisive
actions and inflammatory
utterances of some individuals
from the South-South and
asserted that I have done
nothing to call them to order or
distance myself from their
ethnic chauvinism. Again that
is very untrue. I am as
committed to the unity of this
country as any patriot can be
and I have publicly declared on
many occasions that no person
who threatens other Nigerians
or parts of the country is
acting on my behalf.
It is very regrettable that in
your letter, you seem to place
sole responsibility for the
ongoing intrigues and tensions
in the PDP at my doorstep, and
going on from that position,
you direct all your appeals for
a resolution at me. Baba, let us
all be truthful to ourselves,
God and posterity. At the heart
of all the current troubles in
our party and the larger polity
is the unbridled jostling and
positioning for personal or
group advantage ahead of the
2015 general elections.
The “bitterness, anger, mistrust,
fear and deep suspicion ” you
wrote about all flow from this
singular factor.
It is indeed very unfortunate
that the seeming crisis in the
party was instigated by a few
senior members of the party,
including you. But, as leader of
the party, I will continue to do
my best to unite it so that we
can move forward with
strength and unity of purpose.
The PDP has always recovered
from previous crises with
renewed vigour and vitality. I
am very optimistic that that
will be the case again this time.
The PDP will overcome any
temporary setback, remain a
strong party and even grow
Instigating people to cause
problems and disaffection
within the party is something
that you are certainly familiar
with. You will recall that
founding fathers of the Party
were frustrated out of the
Party at a time. Late
Chief Sunday Awoniyi was
pushed out, Late Chief Solomon
Lar left and later came back,
Chief Audu Ogbeh and Chief
Tom Ikimi also left. Chief
Okwesilieze Nwodo left and
later came back. In 2005/2006,
link-men were sent to take
over party structures from PDP
Governors in an unveiled
attempt to undermine the state
governors. In spite of that, the
Governors did not leave the
Party because nobody
instigated and encouraged
them to do so.
The charge that I was involved
in anti-party activities in
governorship elections in Edo,
Ondo, Lagos, and Anambra
States is also very unfortunate.
I relate with all Governors
irrespective of political party
affiliation but I have not
worked against the interest of
the PDP. What I have not done
is to influence the electoral
process to favour our Party.
You were definitely never so
inclined, since you openly
boasted in your letter of how
you supported Alhaji Shehu
Shagari against Chief Obafemi
Awolowo, Chief Nnamdi
Azikiwe and others in the 1979
presidential elections while
serving as a military Head of
State. You and I clearly differ
in this regard, because as the
President of Nigeria, I believe it
is my duty and responsibility to
create a level playing field for
all parties and all candidates.
Recalling how the PDP lost in
states where we were very
strong in 2003 and 2007 such
as Edo, Ondo, Imo, Bauchi,
Anambra, and Borno,
longstanding members of our
great party with good memory
will also consider the charge of
anti-party activities you made
against me as misdirected and
hugely hypocritical. It certainly
was not Goodluck Jonathan’s
“personal ambition or selfish
interest” that caused the PDP to
lose the governorship of Ogun
State and all its senatorial
seats in the last general
You quoted me as saying that I
have not told anybody that I
will seek another term in office
in 2015. You and your
ambitious acolytes within the
party have clearly decided to
act on your conclusion that
“only a fool will believe that
statement ” and embark on a
virulent campaign to harass me
out of an undeclared
candidature for the 2015
presidential elections so as to
pave the way for a successor
anointed by you.
You will recall that you serially
advised me that we should
refrain from discussing the
2015 general elections for now
so as not to distract elected
public officials from urgent
task of governance. While you
have apparently moved away
from that position, I am still of
the considered opinion that it
would have been best for us to
do all that is necessary to
refrain from heating up the
polity at this time. Accordingly,
I have already informed
Nigerians that I will only speak
on whether or not I will seek a
second term when it is time for
such declarations. Your claims
about discussions I had with
you, Governor Gabriel Suswam
and others are wrong, but in
keeping with my declared
stance, I will reserve further
comments until the appropriate
Your allegation that I asked
half a dozen African Presidents
to speak to you about my
alleged ambition for 2015, is
also untrue. I have never
requested any African
President to discuss with you
on my behalf. In our
discussion, I mentioned to you
that four Presidents told me
that they were concerned
about the political situation in
Nigeria and intended to talk to
you about it. So far, only three
of them have confirmed to me
that they have had any
discussion with you. If I made
such a request, why would I
deny it?
The issue of Buruji Kashamu is
one of those lies that should
not be associated with a former
President. The allegation that I
am imposing Kashamu on the
South-West is most
unfortunate and regrettable. I
do not even impose Party
officials in my home state of
Bayelsa and there is no zone in
this country where I have
imposed officials. So why
would I do so in the South
West? Baba, in the light of
Buruji’s detailed public
response to your “open letter”,
it will be charitable for you to
render an apology to Nigerians
and I.
On the issue of investors being
scared to come to Nigeria,
economic dormancy, and
stagnation, I will just refer you
to FDI statistics from 2000 to
2013. Within the last three
years, Nigeria has emerged as
the preferred destination for
investments in Africa, driven
by successful government
policies to attract foreign
investors. For the second year
running, the United Nations
Conference on Trade and
Investments (UNCTAD) has
ranked Nigeria as the number
one destination for investments
in Africa, and as having the
fourth highest returns in the
Today, Nigeria is holding 18
percent of all foreign
investments in Africa and 60
percent of all foreign
investments in the ECOWAS
Sub-Region. Kindly note also
that in the seven years
between 2000 and 2007 when
you were President, Nigeria
attracted a total of $24.9
Billion in FDI. As a result of
our efforts which you
disparage, the country has
seen an FDI inflow of $25.7
Billion in just three years
which is more than double the
FDI that has gone to the second
highest African destination. We
have also maintained an
annual national economic
growth rate of close to seven
per cent since the inception of
this administration. What then,
is the justification for your
allegation of scared investors
and economic dormancy?
Although it was not
emphasized in your letter of
December 2, 2013, you also
conveyed, in previous
correspondence, the
impression that you were
ignorant of the very notable
achievements of my
administration in the area of
foreign relations. It is on
record that under my
leadership, Nigeria has played
a key role in resolving the
conflicts in Niger, Cote d’Ivoire,
Mali, Guinea Bissau and
The unproductive rivalry that
existed between Nigeria and
some ECOWAS countries has
also been ended under my
watch and Nigeria now has
better relations with all the
ECOWAS countries. At the
African Union, we now have a
Commissioner at the AU
Commission after being
without one for so long. We
were in the United Nations
Security Council for the
2010/2011 Session and we have
been voted in again for the
2014/2015 Session. From
independence to 2010, we were
in the U.N. Security Council
only three times but from 2010
to 2015, we will be there two
This did not happen by
chance. My Administration
worked hard for it and we
continue to maintain the best
possible relations with all
centres of global political and
economic power. I find it hard
therefore, to believe your
assertions of untoward concern
in the international community
over the state of governance in
With respect to the Brass and
Olokola LNG projects, you may
have forgotten that though you
started these projects, Final
Investment Decisions were
never reached. For your
information, NNPC has not
withdrawn from either the
Olokola or the Brass LNG
On the Rivers State Water
Project, you were misled by
your informant. The Federal
Government under my watch
has never directed or
instructed the Africa
Development Bank to put on
hold any project to be executed
in Rivers state or any other
State within the Federation.
The Rivers Water Project was
not originally in the borrowing
plan but it was included in
April 2013 and appraised in
May. Negotiations are ongoing
with the AfDB. I have no
doubt that you are familiar
with the entire process that
prefaces the signing of a
Subsidiary Loan Agreement as
in this instance.
Let me assure you and all
Nigerians that I do not engage
in negative political actions and
will never, as President,
oppress the people of a State
or deprive them of much
needed public services as a
result of political disagreement
I have noted your comments on
the proposed National
Conference. Contrary to the
insinuation in your letter, the
proposed conference is aimed
at bringing Nigerians together
to resolve contentious national
issues in a formal setting. This
is a sure way of promoting
greater national consensus and
unity, and not a recipe for
“disunity, confusion and chaos”
as you alleged in your letter.
Having twice held the high
office of President,
Commander-In-Chief of the
Armed Forces of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, I trust that
you will understand that I
cannot possibly find the time
to offer a line-by-line response
to all the accusations and
allegations made in your letter
while dealing with other
pressing demands of office and
more urgent affairs of state.
I have tried, however, to
respond to only the most
serious of the charges which
question my sincerity, personal
honour, and commitment to the
oath which I have sworn, to
always uphold and protect the
interests of all Nigerians, and
promote their well-being.
In closing, let me state that you
have done me grave injustice
with your public letter in
which you wrongfully accused
me of deceit, deception,
dishonesty, incompetence,
clannishness, divisiveness and
insincerity, amongst other ills.
I have not, myself, ever
claimed to be all-knowing or
infallible, but I have never
taken Nigeria or Nigerians for
granted as you implied, and I
will continue to do my utmost
to steer our ship of state
towards the brighter future to
which we all aspire.
Please accept the assurances of
my highest consideration and
warm regards.



  1. Our dear president,pls don’t be distracted by all these, thanks 4 choosing ur word right in ur reply by not being insultive to obj, we say sorry,continue to be gentle & focused,God will deliver our nations. forgive just as Mandela did

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